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Hanukkah festivities begin with candle lighting
“Rather than blowing out 100 candles, he’d rather light one candle representing kindness and good deeds,” said Rabbi Areyah Kaltmann of the Lori Schottenstein Chabad Center in New Albany, Ohio, which sponsored the menorah lighting. “He wants this to be the way he ushers in his next century.”
In New York City, Jews celebrated the holiday’s start with the ceremonial lighting of a 32-foot-tall menorah at the edge of Central Park. Rabbi Shmuel Butman lit the giant structur, which weighs about 4,000 pounds and has real oil lamps, protected from the wind by glass chimneys.
“It was a beautiful event,” he said, “a wonderful way to start the holiday.”
In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott celebrated the beginning of Hanukkah with a menorah-lighting ceremony in his office at the state Capitol in Tallahassee. He was joined by a rabbi from the northwest Florida branch of the Chabad Lubavitch outreach organization.
“The story of Hanukkah reminds us that confidence in one’s identity and hope for the future are powerful forces that cannot be defeated — even in the darkest of times. Hanukkah is also a time to reiterate our support for the people of Israel,” Mr. Scott said, adding that he and his wife are “keeping our friends in Israel in our prayers for a future of peace.”
Associated Press writers Colleen Long in New York City, Rebecca Miller in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Jennifer Kay in Miami, Florida, contributed to this report.
By Tom Fitton
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